The bullshit theories society teaches us about love
Real love is hard.
Love only lasts three years.
There can be only one real love in your life.
Love is finding that one who completes you.
What other bullshit theories does society teach us on love?
The idea that real love is hard, painful, intense and short lasting, that it seeks to complete the person falling in love, making him whole again and that there is no other way is the most toxic mentality one could have on love. It’s time to end with this romanticized bullshit which has nothing to do with what real love is or should be about.
most people see the problem of love as that of being loved, rather than that of loving, of one’s capacity to love E. Fromm/The art of loving
The first bullshit theory is that love makes you complete. That it is about finding ‘the one’, which makes you go crazy after each other and collapse into that state of he/she is my other half kind of shit. Which is to say that you are not a complete human being, but a half. Or a quarter. That needs to be filled by another. And that is considered ‘romantic’.
How can making one human being feel incomplete, not enough be considered something good, something to be wished for, something….romantic?
Cosmetic surgery and the fashion industry manipulate women to think and act in a way that they should be sexy and physically attractive so that they please men. Whilst men are ‘taught’ to be financially successful so that they please women. We are told to love ourselves, but everything in society (from literature, films, women’s magazines, the stories we grow up with) teaches us to feel insufficient, needing more in order to attract ‘that love’. We learn how to be fuckable rather than loveable.
Everyone preaches how to be loved, yet no one teaches us how to love.
The second bullshit theory is that romantic love, that ‘One love’ should feel hard, painful and heavy. Like a wooden wardrobe squeezing your soul.
As much as I love Shakespeare and Russian novelists, they kinda fucked us over with the way they idealized these sad stories.
Let’s take Romeo and Juliet. Everyone knows Romeo and Juliet. Probably the most famous love story of all time. The ‘romantic story’ of two people who fall in love and commit suicide in the name of love. Yet very few people know that on a closer reading, this love lasts 4 days! (including their death). They meet at the ball, they have sexy time the next day, then they get married and the next day they die. And this is considered the most beautiful love story of all times? I don’t know about you, but I would rather prefer a love between two pensioners feeling in love after 40 years of marriage, eating Chinese and laughing about the shit they did together when they were young that two 14 year olds commiting suicide after they meet at a party. Sorry, Shakespeare.
Literature and cinema have this ability to romanticize too much these tragic love stories, turning them into something ideal, that does not happen in reality, because reality is boring and normal, whilst true love should not be normal or easy. Why this toxic conotation to love? Why should love feel like a fuckin Sisf rolling the stone on the hill?
The third bullshit theory is that love is something you ‘fall into’, something that happens all of a sudden, which strikes you like a lightning, makes you go crazy, walk on clouds and forget about yourself totally.
The problem with this theory is the confusion between the initial experience of “falling in love” and the permanent state of “being in love”.
Most often we think of love as butterflies in the stomach, crazy sexual attraction, an obssesive behaviour of wanting to be all the time with the person and the total misery and suffering when you are not with that person. But we want love to last. For a lifetime. Happily ever after, right? Yet rarely are we happy after this kind of “thunder love” strikes us. Most of the time, when we find ourselves in such situations, we suffer like hell and we are left like wet dogs standing in the rain, emptied on the interior and totally hopeless. Maybe even swearing that we will never ‘fall in love again’. And that is because we took the feeling of falling in love as the ultimate truth, ignoring the process of getting to know that person and analyzing if that person is also the right one for us, the person that could not only makes us fall in love with but rather stay in love with.
I think it’s time to think about love and treat it with more depth and profoundness than these superficial black and white theories that love is this or that. Love is not this nor that. It is not saying ‘I love you’ or ‘You are the one’. It is not ideal. It is not abstract nor simple. It is not being happy all the time or suffering like a dog. It is not lust nor being married and having children. As Erich Fromm beautifully says, love is an art which requires knowledge and effort. It is standing in not falling for.